On April 26, at the Global Innovation Summit, eight top startups from Israel and Europe pitched their ideas to a group of leading investors from China and the international community. From sectors spanning cycling-meters to green energy, the contestants wished to showcase their innovations and grow their companies by entering the rising Chinese market.
The summit held by the Beijing-based international accelerator DayDayUp gathered established VCs, key industry players, and government institutions to discuss the trends and challenges in global innovation and VC investment.
As the importance of China’s role in the global technology industry grows, these dialogues help foreign startups set up operations in the country and subsequently receive funding support. Meanwhile, domestic partners can better understand and work with foreign early-stage companies. After all, geography has gradually faded out as an issue for global doers.
The summit opened with Beijing Science & Technology Commission Deputy Director Guo Rui, Minister of Commercial Affairs for the Israeli Embassy Ophir Gore, and European Union Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Director Chris Cheung, who all addressed the importance of global connectivity in investing in tech-driven startups.
In addition, Chilean Ambassador to China Jaime Chomali and DayDayUp Founder Bo Yiqun hosted the China-Latin America Soft Landing Program Launch Ceremony, which further demonstrated the surging potential of cooperation opportunities between the world’s second largest economy and other nations like Israel, Chile, and Italy.
So, who were the winners?
The first prize in the Israeli demo contest went to Gencell, a green power solutions provider that has designed innovative hydrogen fuel cells. Gencell’s core products – the G5, A5, and T30 – offer non-stop, low-cost, highly-reliable, and platinum-free power solutions, which can completely replace conventional fuels. Currently, fewer than 1,000 electric buses in China are using fuel cells. The International Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association, however, estimates that this number will increase to over one million by 2030. The prediction is aided by the fact that Chinese energy policies no longer encourage the use of diesel generators. Henceforth, China’s promising market is waiting for Gencell’s patented green technology.
As for the European sector, Italian startup Checkout Technologies won the top prize. The startup said that they tackle the inconvenience of of waiting in lines by innovating automated stores with fast check-outs via A.I., facial recognition, and behavioral recognition. Its technology can recognize various products within a mere 0.4 seconds. The company hopes to cooperate with established local players, namely Alibaba’s Alipay, to further enhance its user experience. More interestingly, the startup can predict consumer behavior. These innovations can significantly improve real-time store management. Lastly, the startup does not require radio-frequency identification (RFID) or manufacturer QR codes, products that are still essential for its competitors.
About four decades ago China opened up. And now Beijing is embracing its own tech center, just like the U.S. has embraced Silicon Valley. Let’s see how many eye-opening startups plan their futures here.
(Top photo from DayDayUp)